Beyond Cliché
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Cliche

Proverbs is familiar territory for most of us, particularly if we grew up in the days of learning doctrinal texts and Sabbath School memory verses. I can still remember many of them:

Prov 1: 7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Prov 3: 5, 6  Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Prov 3: […]

Sabbath: Divine Wisdom
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gless04-2015a

Read for This Week’s Study: Prov. 8:1–21, Matt. 16:26, Prov. 8:22–31, Gen. 1:31, Prov. 8:32–36, Prov. 9:1–18.

Memory Text: The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way, before His works of old(Proverbs 8:22, NKJV).

At this stage in Proverbs, wisdom reappears (see Prov. 1:20-21), and it’s clear from the texts for this week that wisdom is truth — the Truth as it exists in God, the source and foundation of all truth.

This accent on the absolute character […]

Kind Words Are Honey to The Soul
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Kind words are like honey— sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. Proverbs 16:24 NLT

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Yesterday, when I showed up at Tampa Adventist Academy to teach my baptism class, a teacher, beaming with pride, showed me an e-mail one of her former students had just sent her the night before. In the e-mail, the student was telling her former teacher about her new school and scholastic programs. The student was doing well at her new school. The student then […]

03: A Matter of Life and Death – Hit the Mark
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Despair

For the commandments are like a lamp, instruction is like a light, and rebukes of discipline are like the road leading to life Proverbs 6:23 NET

We have an unhealthy relationship with the word discipline. It connotes the worst in our emotions. Pain and some form of suffering are usually associated with this word. And sadly, many people today are damaged physically, mentally and spiritually by our often flawed ideas of what constitutes proper discipline. Simply put, we have merged the […]

Inside Story: “This Isn’t Yogi Bear!”
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Being from the tropical country of Puerto Rico, Paola never dreamed that she would end up in the wilds of Alaska. It’s just so out there, Paola says. It’s one of those places that you’re never going to go to because it’s so far away.

But when the recruiting team from the Alaska conference came to Walla Walla University (Wash.), looking for summer camp staff, Paola decided to check them out. She was hired, and that summer she found herself lifeguarding […]

Friday: Further Study: A Matter of Live and Death
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Further Study: Satan offers to men the kingdoms of the world if they will yield to him the supremacy. Many do this and sacrifice heaven. It is better to die than to sin; better to want than to defraud; better to hunger than to lie. — Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 495.

Choose poverty, reproach, separation from friends, or any suffering rather than to defile the soul with sin. Death before dishonor or the transgression […]

Thursday: The Threat of Death
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Image © Steve Creitz from GoodSalt.com

Most people don’t think of death when they sin; they have other things on their minds, usually the immediate gratification and pleasure that they derive from their sin. It doesn’t help, either, that popular culture often extols adultery and other iniquities. In contrast, the book of Proverbs places sin in the right perspective, a view echoed many years later by Paul: The wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23).

Image © Steve Creitz from GoodSalt.com

Read Proverbs 7:22-23 (NKJV). […]

Don’t Sleep Through Harvest Time!
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Early this morning before I even got out of bed, I was reading my Proverbs reading plan on my YouVersion Bible android app. I ran across this passage:

A wise youth harvests in the summer, but one who sleeps during harvest is a disgrace. Proverbs 10:5 NLT

When I read that I immediately remembered reading about Jesus ministering to the crowds, and then telling His disciples,  

The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who […]

Wednesday: “You Shall Not Steal”
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Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Right after his warning about adultery (Prov. 6:24–29), the author starts talking about another sin: stealing (Prov. 6:30-31). The relationship between the two commandments (stealing and adultery) shows how disobedience to one commandment can affect our obedience to the others. The attitude of compromise, to pick and choose in regard to God’s law, could be even more dangerous than complete disobedience to the law. The strongest bulwark of vice in our world is not the iniquitous life of the abandoned […]

Obedience to Avoid Punishment is Not True Obedience
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My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands. Proverbs 2:1 NLT

The other day I was substitute teaching at my local church school. The kids were all good, but a little hyperactive. I finally said, “The next one who talks without raising their hand will get their name on the board.” No sooner had I said that, when a girl talked without raising her hand. I wrote her name on the board. She looked shocked. I told her, […]

03: A Matter of Life and Death – Lesson Plan
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gless03-2015a

Key Thought : God teaches us His principles of living for our own good. Understanding the guidance from God’s law is essential for our ultimate survival.

[Lesson Plan for A Matter of Life and Death January 12, 2015]

1. Have a volunteer read Proverbs 6:20-23.

a. Ask class members to share a thought on what the most important point in this text is.
b. What does it mean to bind the commandments on our hearts and tie them to our necks?
c. Personal Application: […]

Tuesday: Fighting Temptation
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Image © Steve Creitz from GoodSalt.com

As we have just seen, the author of Proverbs 6:23, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, directly links light and life to God’s law. In the next verse he gives a solid example of how the law, as light and life, can offer us powerful spiritual protection.

Image © Steve Creitz from GoodSalt.com

What are we being warned about in Proverbs 6:24? Besides the obvious, what more subtle warning is given here?

When a religious person is tempted, the greatest […]